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2024 Annual Conference

St. Louis

March 21-23, 2024

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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Tracy Longley-Cook

SPE Member since 2004
Member Chapter: Midwest

2013 Caucus Application Portfolio

In this series of photographic images I am exploring themes of personal and geographical landscape from an alternative point of view. Utilizing my body and photographic chemistry to create direct imprints on film, the resulting negatives are then scanned, cropped and printed as large-scale digital prints. Visually, the "body prints" mimic aerial landscape photographs, where scars, hair or wrinkles are reduced to black and white lines that emulate land and water formations. Through this comparison, a correlation is drawn between the earth's surface as a record of natural and man made alterations, and the body (specifically the skin) as a record of individual experience. The human body's largest sensory organ is the skin. While covering and protecting our entire physical surface it provides us with a defense against most environmental dangers. Skin is also a reflection of the person, in the sense that it denotes someone's age, cultural identity or race, well-being, as well as identity. Prints, scarring, hair growth, warts, calluses, wrinkles, and other dermatological variations reveal a wealth of information about who we are. Our skin provides a record of experience and a means to navigate a particular kind of personal history. In a similar vein, the surface, or skin, of various terrains within the landscape offers a comparable history of the earth's lifespan. Natural and human influenced alterations present a way to detect change, both gradual and immediate. Geological and man-made structures, water formations, erosion, and weather patterns alter the natural world, creating a lasting mark imprinted onto the environment. The method of imprinting the body on film is a cameraless process, where photographic chemistry is placed directly on the skin, and then impressed onto film before exposing it to light. Once developed the areas where the chemistry has touched the film will remain clear, and the areas where only light has hit the film will remain opaque. The result is a negative impression of the details of the skin's surface revealing fingerprints, hair, scars and other physical variations.

Topography 1

Topography 2

Topography 3

Topography 4

Topography 5

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